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R5 specification Mitsubishi takes second victory in a row in British Rally Championship National Cup

13th July 2016

For the second time in as many events, Robert Blomberg and co-driver Lars Andersson from Trollhättan won a round of the British Rally Championship National Rally Cup.  Driving their Mitsubishi Mirage/Space Star on this weekend’s (9th & 10th July) Nicky Grist Stages Rally, they took the lead from stage four and continued to dominate the category for the remainder of the event.

Round five of the MSA British Rally Championship represented the toughest challenge of the year so far for Blomberg and Andersson, with the event featuring eight gravel stages comprising 45 competitive miles on Saturday, followed by 10 asphalt stages and a further 59 miles on Sunday - a  format that required a change of suspension set-ups during the Saturday evening service halt.

Taking place on and around the Epynt military ranges in South Wales, on a weekend in the calendar that should represent the height of the British summer, persistent rain was not what many had expected for the first loop of four stages on Saturday morning.

A steady start saw the Swedish crew hold second place behind Donnie McDonald/Andrew Faulkner form Scotland in an Evo IX, but when their challenge dropped away on stage four, Blomberg and Andersson took advantage of the opportunity and ended the gravel leg of the event leading the national class by 90 seconds. After changing the suspension themselves, they embarked on the tarmac part of the rally that featured a network of twisty and narrow roads over the military training ground.

The first few stages on Sunday morning remained dry, but mist and rain reminiscent of when the Rally GB visits this venue in November, was to descend across the Welsh hills, making conditions even more challenging. However, that didn’t stop Blomberg and Andersson from consolidating their lead and, when they reached the finish in Builth Wells, they were pleased to take their second BRC National Rally Cup victory in as many events – this time by over four minutes – and now lead the category with two rounds to go.

“This event was a new experience for us’ said Blomberg. “We didn’t really know what to expect, so we just approached it in the same way as we have all the others this year and it worked out very well.

“We cannot praise the car enough, as whatever the conditions were and whether we were on gravel or tarmac, it worked perfectly and proved that it is competitive on both gravel and tarmac surfaces.”

Fellow Mitsubishi R5 crew Jamie Jukes and David Williams also scored additional championship points. After a frustrating first day when what appeared to be an innocuous spin on the first stage saw the Mitsubishi put a wheel off the road and come to rest on its floor guards. With no spectators or marshals to assist, the car was beached where it had stopped and although making various attempt to get going again, eventually Jukes and Williams resigned themselves to the fact they would have to resort to Super Rally the next day, which is when crews are allowed to restart, albeit with time penalties applied.

Overcoming a few issues in the wet conditions on Sunday, Jukes and Williams were pleased to end the event fourth in the National Rally Cup and score more points in the series.

The next event in the MSA British Rally Championship calendar is the Ulster Rally on 19th & 20th August and when crews head to Northern Ireland for the second time this season for another taste of the unique asphalt stages that are synonymous with the region.



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